Leaders Tout Excellence Training Center Opening at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Members of the Mahoning Valley Innovation Commercialization Consortium joined state, local and federal elected officials, as well as education leaders Monday for the opening of the new $12 million Excellence Training Center at Youngstown State University campus.

The 54,000-square-foot center is part of a regional workforce development ecosystem to train workers to meet the expanding need for skilled workers in advanced manufacturing, including automation, robotics, industrial maintenance and 3D additive manufacturing, according to a press release. The center was funded by $7 million in state funds and $5 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

“Our collective vision to create a place where we can research, teach, train and prepare the workers of the future culminates in today’s opening of this wonderful facility,” YSU President Jim Tressel said.

The two-story center includes space for additive manufacturing research and design, automation and robotics training, CNC machining classes in conjunction with EGCC, metrology, CT scanning and industrial maintenance training. It also includes a “Foundry of the Future,” with advanced mold-making technology. Office space can be rented by industry partners.

David Sipusic, executive director, Excellence Training Center.

“We have designed the Center to be a teaching factory, filled with outstanding, cutting-edge technology, as well as classroom, lecture, lab and research spaces, where students will learn on real world, advanced machines that they won’t be able to get anywhere else,” said David Sipusic, the center’s executive director and YSU’s associate general counsel for research. “On top of that, our industry partners will be right here alongside the students and workers. Those connections are invaluable. Opportunities will be available for K-12 students, Eastern Gateway and YSU students, professionals looking to grow and displaced workers, among others.”

The center is a partnership of YSU with Eastern Gateway Community College, America Makes, the Youngstown Business Incubator, career and technical centers in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, and the Youngstown City School District.

“A project of this magnitude does not happen without the support and commitment of literally dozens of people across a wide spectrum of government, industry and education leaders,” Tressel said. “Our particular thanks to former Gov. John Kasich and former Ohio Budget Director Tim Keen for believing in our dream five years ago. We thank our Ohio General Assembly, Gov. Mike DeWine and Chancellor Randy Gardner, as well as our local state and federal legislators and, of course, our many industry partners and educational colleagues for their dedication to this project.”

“The Excellence Training Center demonstrates how the Mahoning Valley will continue to address its economic challenges – by creating partnerships with common missions to ensure we move forward together,” said EGCC President Michael Geoghegan. “The Center will ensure that the regional workforce is ready to be competitive in America’s 21st century economy.”

The center is one of a number of workforce development initiatives at YSU, including the online, on-demand Skills Accelerator, the YSU IT Workforce Accelerator in partnership with IBM, the YSU Energy Storage and Innovation Training Center, virtual career fairs and the YSU Division for Workforce Education and Innovation.

“If we are going to fulfill our vision and reach our goal of being a center of high-tech, advanced manufacturing, we must have a workforce trained and ready to fill positions that emerging manufacturing companies need now and into the future,” said Jennifer Oddo, executive director of the Division for Workforce Education and Innovation. “That is what the ETC and YSU’s continuing efforts in workforce education and innovation are all about.”

Learn more at YSU.edu/excellence-training-center.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.